Tag: Emptiness

Singleness and Celibacy — A gift from God

A gift? Really? This is such a difficult subject to write about, but I’m going to take a chance and just do it. I’m really glad that I don’t have to wonder any longer about whether or not it’s God’s will that I remain single. I’ve written in earlier posts about having such a deep longing for family. I kept praying over and over for God to fulfill that longing. During that time of waiting, I also had learned how to pray to ask Him to remove the desire if it was not of Him. I waited for an answer either way for a very long time. It was tough waiting. Since initially the desire had not been removed, I kept holding on to the hope that He would send the perfect man of God my way.  Well, just a couple of blog posts earlier, I wrote that God had answered the prayer. He didn’t answer how I hoped He would. It’s truly amazing, the things that God does for those of us who seek Him and His will wholeheartedly. He ended up completely removing the desire for a husband and family that I carried for too long and He replaced it with a desire to fully devote my life in service to Him. Wow. I can’t begin to describe what I feel inside about this. I guess I can simply say that I am happy! I’m in awe of the joy He’s given me with this answer. What an incredible blessing. What an incredible call on my life! And the more I’ve been thinking about it, it truly is a relief that I don’t have to deal with the distractions and complications that can come with being in the dating world. Now, what I can’t say that I know for sure is whether this is for the rest of my life, or for just a season (however long that might be). It doesn’t matter. What I do know is that I am extremely blessed to discover God’s will for me and for that old longing that made my heart ache so much to finally be gone. Today, my focus is on my mission to fully serve God.

There’s a passage in the Bible that really spoke to me some time ago. I wasn’t really sure about what I read back then, but I’ve always kept it in my heart waiting for a confirmation from God. The passage talks about marriage and about being single. When I first read it not too long after I started absorbing and living out God’s Word, I couldn’t forget about it. But I don’t think I was ready either to really accept or understand what God’s Word was telling me in the passage. I wasn’t ready for a long while. But I’m truly happy now that He has answered my prayer and gave me the confirmation I had been seeking. He has shown me very clearly the way He wants me to go.

I’ve been single my whole life. And I’m grateful to be celibate. Of course I wasn’t always, but God has changed everything about me. He’s forgiven me and He’s taken away the ungodly desires from me and I am thankful they are no longer a struggle. I’m thankful He has helped me turn away from sin. This is all so personal, but talking about my singleness and celibacy has been on my heart to share for a while now because I know so many out there are struggling to find their soul mate. I see and feel the emptiness and the loneliness in their hearts. Many times people choose partners without seeking God’s direction first. When someone finally comes along, sooner or later there’s nothing but heartache because one or both end up bringing even more turmoil into the relationship. At least, I’ve witnessed this in so many couples who choose to do things their way instead inviting God to be the center of their relationship. I can see it so well in others, because everything I’ve mentioned is where I used to be. My last relationship was a disaster, I don’t know if I would have ended up taking my own life because of it, but I can tell you I wanted to be relieved of the humiliation and pain the man was putting me through. I was hitting rock bottom with the depression and the drinking so I really think it was just a matter of time for me. (You can read more about my mental abuse story “I wished he would have hit me” in an earlier post if you’re interested.)

I’ve spent most of my adult life feeling out of place for being single, yet I did enjoy the freedom. Before God broke through, I was at a very confusing period of my life. I was quite happy with being single, but as I started to grow older, I really started having a longing for my own family. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I know now that my whole problem back then was that God was never the center of my life, He wasn’t even a tiny part of it. So when I talk about Him today, I love that I can say that He is absolutely my everything in life now.

I’m finally understanding that being single is a gift from God and I am truly grateful for discovering this gift in my life, at this point in my life. For many years some people did a really good job at making me, the single and childless one, feel like something must really be wrong with me. I was always out of place. For so many years, I dreaded a relative of mine looking for a ring on my finger every time there was a gathering. I never said anything, I went along with it, but that sure brought me down every single time. I don’t think the person meant to make me feel that way, but still, it put me in a very bad place. It had such a negative effect on me, it would just keep adding to my depression.

My circumstances in life caused me to be such a lost and depressed soul, I turned to alcohol to self medicate and to numb myself out of reality as much as I possibly could for as long as I possibly could. Today, I see it as a blessing that I didn’t bring children into my dark world. As I have been growing and learning God’s Word and will for my life, He has opened up my eyes and heart to His beautiful gift. I realize how incredibly blessed I am for this call He has placed on my life. ME. The one who for decades didn’t care to know if God was real and then tried so hard to drink herself into a grave since it seemed to be the only way to be relieved from lifelong heartache and despair.  I am SO thankful to God for breaking through when He did almost 5 years ago!

So back to the passage I mentioned earlier — at the beginning of this incredible journey, although I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it at first, I do remember wondering about what I had read in 1 Corinthians 7:34-35 — God’s Word translation puts the Apostle Paul’s teaching this way: “An unmarried woman…is concerned about the Lord’s things so that she may be holy in body and in spirit…I’m saying this for your benefit, not to restrict you. I’m showing you how to live a noble life of devotion to the Lord without being distracted…”

I SO want and desire to live that noble life of devotion to my Lord! He has given that to me! Wow. It’s an amazing change He’s done in me. And as for children, I believe He has shown me through His Word that He will bring me spiritual children and I’m pretty excited about that too. I know there are a lot of single Christians out there walking around with a void in their hearts. It’s not easy being single. I always find it interesting how some married people look at a single person’s life thinking “If only I were single…” And then there’s us single people looking at a married couple thinking “If only I could find someone to love who will love me back…” As a single woman, for the longest time there would always be triggers that would have me feeling a giant void in my heart. I always felt it more during the holidays where families celebrate together. I’m not talking about extended families, I’m talking husband, wife, kids…you know, the perfect family. I know there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that’s how I looked at them. I saw the love, and I wanted that.  But today, I no longer have that desire. I no longer have that ache in my heart. God has given me something better and no matter for how long, I’m going to fully devote my single life to Him and rejoice over it with all my heart. I pray for other Christian singles to discover God’s will for them too. And I pray for the unspeakable joy in their hearts and souls, just like God has given to me.

Well, I am grateful for the courage to share this. I pray that God would reach someone else’s heart through it. Now this life I’m living is not easy. I don’t think it will ever be. There are times that I still feel out of place and even feel an occasional void, but I just keep reaching out to God, I keep seeking Him, I keep asking Him to fill my heart with all of Him and He always does. He never lets me down. What an amazing God I serve. If this has touched you in any way, I hope you will share it with someone who may be struggling in their own journey of singleness so they can know they are not alone in their struggles. Thank you, may God bless you.

Better off dead?

My heart goes out to those who believe that right now. Christian or not, life is hard. It’s much worse when we live it apart from God. When I was experiencing years of those tormenting thoughts of wanting to die, I wasted a lot of time as if I had already died. I felt dead. I was dead. I became out of sight and out of mind from family and friends. I didn’t want anybody to know. I tried so hard to drink my life and pain away, but all it did was make my world darker and more painful. It left the door to evil wide open so it could completely destroy me. I believe it was a matter of time. It is a complete miracle that I am still here today and set free. During the entire time I lived and breathed darkness, I did not know the Lord, nor did I want to know Him. I’ve had my regrets of the time that I wasted, but I no longer dwell on the past that I can’t change. I am alive today, and I don’t waste a moment now to share how God has changed everything. That’s pretty much what “A Reason To Live” is all about — an ordinary soul who God touched and chose to write an extraordinary story to share with the world. I’m just me. This story is SO not about me, it’s all about Him. I pray people will see that. Many will choose to not believe the words I share. They’ll roll their eyes and think I’ve lost it. Many will completely ignore it, but if just one troubled soul is touched and given the hope that only turning to Jesus can give, if His light shines through the darkness of one soul who thinks they would be better off dead, if His light and hope has them holding on one more day — one more precious moment at a time, then me taking the risks that I have been taking in sharing my heart so openly and suffering for some of it is more than worth it. This is my ministry, my passion, my reason to live, and I will not stop until God decides that I’m finished. I praise God for the gifts He’s given to me to bring glory to Him. When I come to the end of my earthly life, I don’t believe I will have one regret because I spend my life each day doing all I can to do what God has set for me to do. Of course I fall short each day, but I keep trying to do better each chance He gives me. That’s an incredible place to be in this journey of less than five years that has brought many tears, but unspeakable joy. I do believe I have much more sharing of His love to do in the years to come.

I am grateful that God rescued me when He did. I admit I still have occasional moments where I wish it would have been sooner, but since I can’t go back and change it, I am just thanking Him every single day that I am able to get out of bed and follow Him. I’ll be honest. On occasion I still battle with the dark thoughts. So I think it will always be a battle whether I am obedient to God or not. Only now, the thoughts have become easier to overcome with God in my heart. And because I let go of pride and sought help throughout this growing and healing journey that seemed to bring a lot of the darkness back, I now have some amazing tools that I have learned to put into practice to keep me from going back to the pit. Seeking God, seeking help, and although it’s challenging, I continue to share, cry, and talk about it with some amazing women of God I am blessed to spend time with each week — it all keeps me wanting to live one more day and it’s all for Him. What an amazing ongoing miracle in my life. God rescued me by reaching down and pulling me out AND by putting the right people in my path to love me and show me how to live for Him. I am eternally grateful. Now when the pain comes, I hold on tight to my Lord and He carries me through to the other side, every single time. Just like Jacob who wrestled with God and told Him “I will not let go until You bless me.” (Genesis 32:26), I too, will continue to hold on until I receive His full blessing.

When the hard times come, I won’t let go of the One who will never let me go and I pray that you will keep holding on to Him too. Life is truly worth living. Thank You, Jesus.

2014 Summer Sky in Anaheim, California
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)

I know your hidden pain. You don’t have to hide it anymore…

This is for those who are struggling with pain buried deep inside their soul. Maybe you’re feeling worthless, lonely, unloved, abandoned, and forgotten. Maybe you have lost all trust in the human race and have put up a giant wall around you so now most of your time is spent in isolation. Maybe the isolation is taking its toll and the depression is becoming more severe and perhaps you’re even feeling that life isn’t worth living anymore – the pain and darkness is just too much to bear for one more day.

Well, I really do know your pain. I pretty much just described my life for over 20 years until just a little over four years ago. For decades I tried to escape it all through attempts to drink myself to death. But I’m still here. I’m here for a reason. I want to share some good news. I want someone out there to find hope like I did. I now have victory — victory that can only be found through Jesus Christ. All the bad stuff I believed, were lies. They were lies of the devil who wanted me destroyed. I’m so grateful that I know that now. I’m grateful that I have learned to turn my thoughts around and have learned to listen to the Voice of Truth, which is my Lord Jesus. It took me a while to learn. It’s been a tough walk, but I don’t regret one moment of fully surrendering my life to the Lord. He has helped me to open my heart up to Him so He could come in and do some amazing work in me. He has truly changed me from the inside out. He sobered me up. He showed me I had a reason to live. About every post in this blog speaks of my personal struggles and how God has given me amazing miracles and breakthroughs – VICTORY.

I pray my personal story of transformation and victory will bring you hope that God has not forgotten you either. Stop believing the lies. I spent over 20 years believing I was worthless and that my life was a waste. I tried to numb the pain with alcohol. Of course, it never really helped. It only made me hate myself even more. I thank God that He rescued me from that horrible, slow and painful death that was once the only life I knew.

It’s been very recent where I received my breakthrough in my emotional healing journey. That was a very painful journey bringing years of deep emotional pain to the surface, but I am finally healed and finally free! My last blog post was about a mentally abusive relationship I was in. I had mentioned that I might share a letter of victory in my next post. I almost backed out of doing it, but I feel that I should share it to show someone who is struggling right now that there IS hope. Don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up on God! In this letter, I speak of a longing that I was praying that God would either fulfill or remove from me. At the time, I hadn’t heard either way, so I kept hoping for that desire that was in my heart. I will share now that a lot has changed since writing the letter back in April 2014. God has answered my prayer in a wonderful way. It wasn’t the way I had initially hoped for. He has removed the desire I was hoping for and has replaced it with a much better one.

So here I go, I think this may be my most vulnerable moment, but I pray with all my heart that the below letter will give someone hope that God can do the same for anybody who seeks. It’s strange to share something so personal, but I hope it will be a blessing to someone out there. Don’t lose heart. Your victory is coming too.

Letter of Victory by D. Bonilla (April 2014)

“This is about true transformation. It’s about how I have gone from years of believing I am worthless, to knowing and believing that I have value because Jesus Christ lives in me. My transformation also means that I will no longer be afraid to trust. The wall I spent years building around me for protection has been knocked down. The protection I need can only come from God. I now have the faith and belief that God will protect me and will bring the right people into my life. I fully trust that He will give me the discernment to know the people who are safe to let in and the people I need to keep at a safe distance. 

So where will these new healthy beliefs take me? I believe they will help me to reach the top of the mountain of God! There won’t be an obstacle I cannot overcome because He is with me and my new beliefs will help keep me from getting in the way of His blessings. 

I am finding that I still have a deep longing for family. There have been certain triggers that have brought it back. Gratefully, I have recently been able to grieve the loss of never giving birth to my own children so I can move on. From years of brokenness, I had made the choice to close the door to marriage and family without knowing or caring what God’s plan is. I was too afraid to even think about letting another man into my life again, especially because the last one almost finished the job of what the others before him had started — complete destruction of my soul. But now with God in the center of my life and now that I have begun to heal and have changed my way of thinking, I no longer feel that the door to my heart is sealed shut forever. 

I actually see the possibility of a new relationship once again. This gives me such hope for the future. I have a new dream that the perfect man for me, a strong man of God, has already been chosen for me. He will have a passion like mine to serve God in ministry. He will be faithful. He will be a family man. He will be a good father. His children will have children. He will have a love for me that I have never known from any other man in my life. And with the heart that God has given me, I know that I will be able to love him the same. I will be able to love his children as if they were my own. In the years to come I can see us serving together in ministry with the kids and grandkids. You see, I don’t just long for a family, I long for one who serves the Lord together. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 

However, if it turns out that this desire is not of God, I also trust that He will completely remove it once and for all and will keep me filled with His Peace and Joy. I trust He will fill the void in my heart (perhaps as a spiritual mother) so I can stop wondering and stop longing. I trust He will give me the contentment to remain single and the strength and desire to dedicate the rest of my life to only Him. I have prayed the prayer to remove or fulfill my desire more than a few times. Since nothing has happened either way yet, I am going to hold on to the hope of family. I will keep praying. My God is faithful. 

So whatever the outcome, I am praising God and claiming victory. I can finally say with confidence that I am NOT worthless. I have amazing faith in an amazing Heavenly Father who loves me more than I can ever imagine. I have a wonderful mother and church family who love and support me and encourage me greatly. I love them back more than they can ever know. The future is so much brighter and exciting than ever. I have incredible HOPE. I am blessed and eternally grateful. My story is just now beginning…”

I’m looking forward to sharing how God has answered the longing that you just read about, I think you will be surprised. I was. But I cried tears of pure joy when I realized how He fulfilled my longing in an unexpected and more incredible way. He’s amazing that way. 🙂

God bless you. I’ll be praying for you.

A Father’s Love…

That’s something I had longed for almost my entire life. At least since I was sixteen years of age—the time my father decided he didn’t want to be a husband or a father any longer. Here I am 32 years later, and there is still a part of me that feels a void inside my heart at this time of year. When I hear other people, especially around my age, refer to their fathers as “Daddy” that’s when I really feel the void. It makes me a little sad that I can’t even remember how old I was the last time I called my father “Daddy”. OK, enough of that. God has been too good to me to stay stuck in that kind of thinking.

I wrote a post for Father’s Day two years ago: http://wp.me/p1g1Ud-4S. Wow, time is flying. I just read it for the first time since I wrote it. I could have written that again for this year. I hope you’ll take a moment and read it, it’s from my heart and I pray it will be a blessing. It’s amazing that I still feel the same about everything I wrote. I am so grateful that I have received tons of healing of my deepest wounds since then. However, I’m discovering that this time of year still seems to bring a little heaviness to my heart. I really thought that wouldn’t happen this year, but at least it’s not so bad. It’s not even close to being like before.

I felt like sharing from my heart again this year. I know there are a lot of people like me who were not blessed with a good earthly father who was present and loving. Some of you have suffered way more than I have. I’m not in competition to see who has suffered the most by their dads. I just know that a lot of us suffer from depression and I don’t care how it happens, depression is depression. It eventually will destroy us if we let it.

My way out of depression (although I still suffer from occasional heaviness in my heart) is by reaching for God. The only One whom I’ve discovered that can take away my emotional pain like nobody or nothing else ever would be able to. I used to numb myself with alcohol. I used to wish I would just die. But I thank God that He has delivered me from all of it. God is the only One who has ever loved me unconditionally. I just didn’t know it for all those years because I kept running away from Him. I didn’t want to find out if He really existed. I didn’t want to believe He would let me be in so much pain. But now I know that He just wanted my heart. Now that I have given it all to Him, wow. Life has never been more hopeful. It has never been more meaningful. It has never been more blessed.

Now when I think of my earthly father, I no longer cry from pain that he caused me. Instead, I shed a few tears because I miss him and I wish that he could have seen the great things of God in my life. I would have loved to have seen the hand of God move in his life like He has in mine. But since I can’t, I will just keep my hope in the Lord and hold on to His promise that I will see my dad one day when I finally join him in heaven. That really makes my heart smile. For those whose dads have passed away too, my heart is with you.

So just like I have learned to do over the last couple of years, I am mainly celebrating Father’s Day by celebrating my Heavenly Father and His amazing love for me. He sent His only Son so that I may live with Him forever. THAT IS LOVE. Thank You God, for loving me that much.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. I pray you will be with family and your children are there celebrating you. I am blessed to see fathers loving their children. Thank you. For the broken families, I’m praying for you too. Don’t give up hope that your relationships will be restored. Anything is possible with God. Don’t forget to celebrate Him too!

And most of all, Happy Father’s Day to my amazing Heavenly Father who loves me no matter what. I love You too.